Gov. Hickenlooper signs bills combating prescription drug misuse

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 10:34 AM
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PDMP and Take-back bill signing

From left to right: Rep. Dan Pabon; Sen. Linda Newell; Rep. Dave Young; Gov. John Hickenlooper; CMS President John L. Bender, MD; and CDPHE Executive Director Larry Wolk, MD, MSPH

CMS President applauds governor for removing barriers to the PDMP, strengthening take-back program

Contact: Dean Holzkamp, 303-748-6113

Gov. John Hickenlooper on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, signed into law HB14-1283 “Modify Prescription Drug Monitoring Program” and HB14-1207 “CDPHE Household Medication Take-back Program” passed this year by the Colorado General Assembly.

HB14-1283 updates the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which was created in 2007 as a bare-bones program, bringing it up to national best practice standards demonstrated to decrease doctor-shopping and reduce prescription drug abuse.

The bill will help prescribers and pharmacists make more informed decisions when considering prescribing and dispensing controlled substances to patients, said John L. Bender, MD, FAAFP, president of the Colorado Medical Society (CMS), in a statement. “This includes allowing a prescriber to designate up to three qualified staff to access the PDMP, which will streamline the process in physicians’ offices and result in better usage of the system.”

HB14-1207 creates a permanent infrastructure to collect and dispose of unused household medications.

“HB14-1283 and HB14-1207 are consistent with CMS’ long-term goals to assure access to compassionate, evidence-based care for patients who suffer from acute and chronic pain while significantly reducing the potential for medically inappropriate use and diversion of prescribed medications – that is, to help prevent the medical, psychological and social consequences, including addiction, overdose and death,” Bender said.

The Governor was joined by the experts and constituents participating in the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, who recommended and supported the changes after over a year of study and research. CMS is an active participant in the consortium and appointed a special Committee on Prescription Drug Abuse earlier this year to assist in the society’s efforts to educate its members about the crisis.

Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the U.S. and Colorado. In 2012, more than twice as many people in Colorado died from poisoning due to opioid analgesics (295) than from drunk-driving-related crashes (133). 


The Colorado Medical Society is a nonprofit organization whose membership comprises the majority of physicians, residents and medical students in Colorado. The Society’s mission is to promote the science and art of medicine, the betterment of public health, and the welfare of Colorado physicians and their patients.


  • To schedule an interview with Dr. Bender, contact Dean Holzkamp at (303) 748-6113
  • To request event photos, including a full-resolution version of the photo above, contact Kate Alfano at (512) 788-0085 or
  • Click here to download this release as a PDF
  • Click here to download Dr. Bender’s full statement as a PDF

Posted in: Press Releases | Initiatives | Prescription Drug Abuse | Patient Safety and Professional Accountability


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